Tag Archives: Sports

Book Review: “Three Strikes and You’re Dead” by Michael A. Draper

Three Strikes Michael Draper

Goodreads summary of this novel:

Baseball goes on strike…and the fans are not happy. A chat room group is formed “Friends against the baseball strike.” They rant against the astronomical salaries and greed of the players who have ruined the game for the everyday fans.

One member, “The Vindicator,” decides to take action to end the strike, and soon, some of the highest paid baseball players are being murdered. 

Who will be next? Can the murderer be stopped? The action and suspense build as the FBI and a trio of clever amateur investigators rush around the country trying to predict where the murderer will strike next, and to discover his identity.

This thoroughly modern page turner uses social media in unexpected ways and will keep the reader enthralled until the last page.

I had the pleasure of getting to know this author, Michael A. Draper, (now deceased), when I reviewed his first novel “Splattered Blood” in 2012.  https://thejoyofthewrittenword.com/2012/02/29/book-review-splattered-blood-by-michael-a-draper/

Draper’s second novel, “Three Strikes and You’re Dead”, did not disappoint. In his first novel I admired Draper’s writing skill. I still do.  The story moves along at a quick pace, while at the same time developing the characters within the plot itself.

While this book is written with the baseball fan in mind, you do not have to be a fan of baseball to be a fan of this book. This is a mystery novel pure and simple.  Any fan of well written detective stories will enjoy this Draper home run.

In the story line, the FBI and three amateur sleuths work together to beat the murderer’s clock of murders. Michael Draper makes this alliance believable and, for me, enjoyable. I will not say anymore about the plot, as I do not wish to spoil the book for future readers. But, trust me, this is an excellent book.

It was a joy for me to read and review this second book by Michael A. Draper. Treat yourself and get a copy soon!

Choose Joy always!!



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Filed under Baseball, Blog, Book, Book Review, Draper Michael A., Michael A. Draper, Mystery, Review

Book Review: “Go Big: Make Your Shot Count in the Connected World” written by Cory Cotton

Cory Cotton, the author of this book, is a recent Texas A&M University, who, with a dream, a simple camera, and five self-confident friends launched Dude Perfect, a friendly, high-flying basketball competition that started on YouTube (45+ million hits) and then slam-dunked its way into commercials, TV appearances, and business success. Written with freshness of a true adventurer, Go Big implores readers to take to the air with their God-given dreams. (from Goodreads)

I received this exciting and well written book from Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an impartial review. When I opened the box and looked at the cover, my instinct was to say: “Oh, it’s a kid’s book”, and “it’s all about sports, looks like basketball”.  Wonderful!  I know basically nothing about sports, and definitely nothing about basketball.  What do I do now for my review??  I quickly flipped through the pages and saw pictures of guys throwing basketballs outside, inside, and upside down! 

I eventually pulled back from my initial reaction and gave the book another check. And am I ever glad that I did! This book is all the things I mentioned above – but it is SO much more.  What started as six university guys throwing basketballs in the backyard of their house, and challenging each other to “go forward”; as well as a few dares: “You’ll never make this shot”, has now turned into a strong motivational force with a web page, an on-line game app, group presentations, and of course, this book.  In this social media world the “Go Big” Philosophy has reached to faraway places, and impacted many lives.  And all this has happened in the last two years.   

Although this book is written by just one of the “Go Big” guys, it is really a compilation of all their efforts to reach their highest goals. Over time the original six became five, as one member decided to follow another dream – a dream well understood and accepted by the team.  Throughout the book we are introduced to all members of DudePerfect.com.  We get to know each individual and what they bring to the team.  For me, one of the brightest lights in this book is how the group shines as a team, how they work together and grow even stronger. 

Dude Perfect's Backyard!

This is hard to believe coming from a group of guys just interested in trick basketball shots.  Here’s the catch, if this was just about trick basketball shots, it would not have captured and held my interest past the end of the book.  This book is many things, and to me it is a great business model centred in something that is bigger than the individuals involved.  This group of young men are clear in their dedication to God, and their dedication to social justice causes.  Stated clearly throughout the book, and printed on the back cover, 5% of author’s proceeds will go to charity: water, a nonprofit organization bringing clean, safe water to people in developing nations.  The author is clear in their spiritual beliefs, and their need to bring better lives to the needy.  For a book that is “not-religious”, when was the last book you read that could make those claims?  These guys are making an impact on this world. 

The Dude Perfect brand is based on five principles: 

Get Excited, Own It, Blink Later, Inspire Others, and Give Back. 

Each principle is expanded upon, highlighted, and made clearer, as the reader moves through each page, each chapter.

Dude Perfect started out with a number of personal goals, and if you check their website, some goals are still on the horizon – life goals.  It is clear that Dude Perfect will be around for a while!  Their motto is ‘Go Big’, their brand is Dude Perfect, and their hope is to inspire readers to reach and obtain their own goals. 

“Go Big” gives us, the readers, the tools we need to reach our own Dude Perfect phenomenon.  The skills set forth can be used in many of life’s situations:  team building, management skills, conflict resolution, positive attitude formation, life skills, and spirit building, (to say the least). 

What started out as a book that held a vague interest for me, became a book I had to force myself to put down when life called me away!  To say that I felt the momentum begin in the Introduction is not an exaggeration.  The subject, the writing style, the graphics, all worked together to capture and hold my interest and enthusiasm. 

This is not just a book about a group of guys who took trick basketball shots to a new level, (although it is), this is a reference book for many years ahead.  I value this book as a book that will push me at times I need pushing; and congratulate me at times I need encouragement. 

 And it can do that for you, too!!



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